Braille Signs

Some of the ADA signs you will be expected to install for your business are signs that carry Braille translations on them. These Braille signs are necessary for your business to stay in compliance since these will be used by those who need to understand signs by reading these with their fingertips. These signs should also carry tactile letters on them as part of ADA compliance rules governing signs.

Now, you may be wondering, if these signs already carry Braille translations on them, why is there then a need for tactile letters to be on these signs as well? The tactile letters on these signs are actually there for the same reason as the Braille dots are, to help people with visual impairments to understand what these signs say. And the reason why both are necessary for signs to be compliant with ADA standards is also pretty simple.

While Braille is popularly known as the medium which people with visual impairments use for reading, not every person who is considered legally blind can actually read Braille. In fact, of the 1.3 million who are considered legally blind in the US, less than 10% actually know how to read Braille. This is one of the main reasons why tactile letters are needed on these signs.

Probably one of the main rationales why very few people actually know how to read Braille is because of the fact that not all of the people who have visual impairments in the US were born with it. Some of these individuals lost their vision later on in life and may have found it hard to integrate the use of Braille into their lives by then. In other words, these people are used to reading words using the alphabetic system of writing that everyone else uses, and are more familiar with the shapes of these letters than they are with the dots that make up Braille letters and words.

Aside from Braille translations of the tactile wordings of these signs, ADA compliant signs also need to comply with the 70% color contrast rule. This color contrast is also for the benefit of those who have visual impairments that make it difficult for them to distinguish the wordings and pictograms from the background of the sign if the contrast was not just right. Also worth noting is that the non-glare or matte finish needed on these signs are also for the benefit of those who have trouble reading signs when these have a very high reflectivity.